Kent Line divests container business to focus on break-bulk

by Canadian Shipper

Saint John, NB’s Kent Line International is selling the assets of the container portion of its business to Tropical Shipping headquartered in Riviera Beach, Florida.

Tropical Shipping is a provider of refrigerated and dry container service to/from the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Kent Line Container Division presently provides weekly container service from Saint John to the Caribbean and the northern coast of South America.

Effective October 22nd, 2001 Tropical will take over this weekly service, offering Canadian customers an expanded all water Atlantic Canada route network of Caribbean destinations.

Kent Line will focus its efforts on growing its break-bulk service to Europe, the Caribbean and South America, operated by a fleet of owned and chartered ships, together with developing its Tanker ownership and Ship Management / Agency activities.

Kent Line has arranged a two year charter for the container vessels “Sprint” and Express”.

“This decision is the best course for our business and also provides our current container customers with an expanded network of destinations out of Saint John with Tropical. However, the decision has also been difficult because of the impact it will have on some of the dedicated employees who make up our Container Division,” explained Bob Youden, Vice President of Transportation. “Our efforts with Tropical begin immediately as we work to place as many qualified people as possible."

Rick Murrell, President and C.E.O said Tropical has a 33 year history of handling Canadian exports to the Bahamas and a 25 year history to the Caribbean and an 18 year history of operating its own Canadian offices.

“Tropical’s acquisition of the Kent Line Container Division will expand the number of Caribbean ports connected by an all water service from Canada and this will benefit both the Canadian exporter as well as the Caribbean importers.”

Tropical Shipping is a subsidiary of Nicor a holding company. Its principal businesses are Nicor Gas a gas utility with 1.9 million Illinois customers and Tropical Shipping that operates on time containerized shipping from Florida.

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